Titel: The Division of Epistemic Labour
Autor: Geoffrey Brennan
Abstract: The paper mobilizes Adam Smith's treatment of the division of labour in relation to the production, consumption and exchange of knowledge. One aspect of this mobilization deals with the epistemic demands that exchange makes on its participants. The other deals with increasing returns in the provision of knowledge itself, treating knowledge creation as just another example of specialization and exchange. These two aspects come together in relation to the epistemic demands associated with assessing knowledge quality. These demands differ according to whether the knowledge is embodied in products or whether the knowledge is an object for its own sake. It is argued that disciplines play a critical role as institutions for meeting the epistemic demands that the division of labour creates in the 'knowledge' case.
Titel: Esteem, Identifiability and the Internet
Autor: Geoffrey Brennan / Philip Pettit
Abstract: The desire for esteem, and the associated desire for good reputation, serve an important role in ordinary social life in disciplining interactions and supporting the operation of social norms. The fact that many Internet relations are conducted under separate dedicated e-identities may encourage the view that Internet relations are not susceptible to these esteem-related incentives. We argue that this view is mistaken. Certainly, pseudonyms allow individuals to moderate the effects of disesteem---either by changing the pseudonym to avoid the negative reputation, or by partitioning various audiences according to different audience values. However, there is every reason to believe that a good e-reputation is an object of desire for real agents. Further, although integrating one's reputation under a single identity has some esteem-enhancing features, those features are not necessarily decisive. We explore in the paper what some of the countervailing considerations might be, by appeal to various analogies with the Internet case.
Titel: On ‘Cooperation’
Autor: Geoffrey Brennan and Geoffrey Sayre-McCord
The term ‘cooperation’ is widely used in social and political and biological and economic theory. Perhaps for this reason, the term takes on a variety of meanings and it is not always clear in many settings what aspect of an interaction is being described. This paper has the modest aim of sorting through some of this variety of meanings; and exploring, against that background, when and why cooperation (in which sense) might be of value, or be required, or constitute a virtue.
Social Dimensions of Science
2010 (32) Heft 2
The research program of Social Epistemology developed from a critique on philosophical epistemology around thirty years ago. Since then it has attracted an ever growing attention, mainly, however, among philosophers. But social epistemology offers also prolific alignments for the social sciences. The starting point of Social Epistemology is the elementary fact that a large proportion of our knowledge is acquired not by our own autonomous exploration according to some ideal standards but by relyi...
Trust and Community on the Internet. Opportunities and Restrictions for Online Cooperation
2004 (26) Heft 1
Guest-Editors: Bernd Lahno / Uwe Matzat
Early studies in the area of Internet Research emphasized the deficiencies that computer-mediated communication as opposed to face-to-face communication would have. The chances for the evolution of cooperative relationships on the Internet were assessed sceptically. Present research findings correct this point of view. In spite of a missing central authority, without formal controls and sanctions, with anonymity and easy-to-use exit options there is not only chaos and anomy on the Internet. Rath...